Read the new book all about Team Fortress 2 trading and the TF2 Spreadsheet.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to interpret prices

We see that some misinterpret the sheet and want to make sure it is very clear what the prices mean.  Prices are in refined metal, unless noted.  When an item trades in keys or buds typically we will reflect that on the sheet.  Most importantly: prices are averages and never absolute.  If a price says "3 +/-" that means it could be 2.66 refined or 3.33 refined is the range we see as an average price.  Could that mean it trades for 2 ref?  Not likely and you are likely to do a transaction closer to the range stated...although that could involve time.  If the price says "2 - 3" that means on average prices are between 2 and 3 refined.  Could that item trade for 1.88 refined?  Certainly.  Would it trade for 1.33 refined?  Not likely a good deal for a seller and you could take more time to find a transaction closer to the range stated.

Someone who wants an item will likely pay a price in the area of what is on the sheet.  Traders who are only looking for profit will offer lower and/or try to sell higher.  Prices are not infallible and the sheet is briefly behind the market as changes in prices inevitably happen.  When trading and someone tells you something that is different than what you believe or is on the sheet, get several opinions.  If you think something is off, tell us.


  1. Good post. I've frequently defended the spreadsheet by saying that the only problem with it is that people misuse or misinterpret it. You do a good job of providing a reasonable price RANGE for items, but some people treat it like an exact price listing, e.g. "I will only sell this hat for 1.66 because that's what the spreadsheet says, 1.33 is a rip off." People need to understand that it's merely a guideline that represents the real price ranges that are present in the market as accurately as possible, not an official, firm price listing.

  2. Thanks. We always thought the +/- was obvious but not so apparently. With a market like TF2 there will never be one price for any item. Even those most traded like keys, earbuds and bills will always have variances in prices paid.

  3. I've said before but I think I'll say it again hoping some more people will get with the program.

    Some items with higher demand, you be a bit of a bully and push for the higher end price, stuff like your genuine dread knot, well I suggest you be a bit more flexible. This is doubly true with unusuals.

    One other note on unusuals, just because you seen one person put a buyout of 15 buds on a blizzard gym rat doesn't mean its worth anything near that and for all you know they may've got less than half their initial asking after no responded to thier 25 bumps. Also, with promos being more and more of a premium item, The prices aren't what they used to be.

    Lastly, if someone gives you a 'pricecheck" of x buds for your unusual, that doesn't necessarily mean thats what its worth; especially if your "friend", the random guy u asked at a random server isn't gonna vouch for you or buy your unusual at that price.

    Oh, and a quicksell=substantial discount off the price numerous people agree is the low end price. Your football helmet with nuts and bolts isn't a quicksell at 2 buds. Team captain nuts n bolts for 4 buds, now thats a quicksell.

    - a tasty serving of

  4. one thing that its around my head its that every craftable hat is at 1'33 ref? I thought that, but now I'm think it was one rule of the trading, by checking the spreadsheet seems you can get one madame dixie or paper hat for less than the price I said. And it's difficult to find one at that low price.
    In resume, is this "rule" still aplicable? a lot of people rely on this guide but nobody puts such low price in hats.

    have a nice day and thanks for your time.

  5. ynork: people tend not to advertise craft hats at 1 refined, however they do sell for this price alll the time. Sometimes it's 1.11, or even 1.22 but almost always within the range of 1 to 1.33 refined. A paper hat is considered the lowest of craft hats and will get 1 ref or just above.

    This question is exactly the reason we posted this post on interpreting the prices on the spreadsheet. "1+" for the paper hat means just that, one refined or just above.

  6. One question...

    Ebenezers and BMOC - everyone want more and more keys for it (tf2tp and tf2outpost). You are lucky when you can find ebenezer for 4 keys. Everyone want 5-6 keys or bills. And suddenly you change price to +/- 4 from 4-5... Why?

  7. Lanc: take a deep breath. Ok, breath out. Prices fluctuate. As of today the Ebeneezer is consistently being offered at 4 keys and just above. This may not be what you see on a particular server at one time. However we try to take everything into account, in-game server prices as well as forum prices.

  8. 2 quick notes, first the Brainiac Goggles price is "3/4/2012" so im not sure if thats a typo??? or its some date they will be priced, and in my opinion i think the Strange rocket is a bit high at 5 ref most people laugh when i say this price so i think 3-4 or more reasonable but this is just my opinion as someone who enjoys trading.

  9. Thanks for the typo heads-up! It was "3 - 4" and sometimes google spreadsheets likes to reformat for us!

    The Strange Rocket Launcher is a solid 2 keys to 5 refined. We will keep an eye on it as there have been more available at this price - which may indicate a top.

  10. I honestly do not think that the Genuine El Jefe's price is "1x Buds-" Judging by how high buds are going now, a G El Jefe does not even come anywhere close to 23 Keys. Probably around 1/2 of that or at best 2/3 of the price of buds. At least that's what I have been seeing. Thanks for reading.

  11. We'll take a look at El Jefe, it may indeed have de-coupled from the price of buds.